Seanchai Library Turns IX

The avatars and the worlds may be virtual but the voices are real and so is the library.

Seanchai 9th Birthday in SL--Chili cookoff_009

On Sunday, March 26, Seanchai Library celebrated it 9th Anniversary in Second Life (where these pictures were taken) and in Kitely at the same time.

No, we are not. It is hard to believe: nine years ~ 108 months ~ 3,287-ish days ~ Thousands of hours of stories ~ Hundreds of Authors ~ Dozens or Genres. this week at Seanchai Libraries in #secondlife, #kitely,  live in voice

According to it’s blog, “Seanchai (“Storyteller” in Irish) Library celebrates the Celtic tradition of stories told around the hearth or in the pub to friends, family, and welcomed strangers. Seanchai Libraries bring stories of all kinds to life, in Virtual Worlds: Second Life, InWorldz, & Kitely on the Open Metaverse. ”

The celebration focused on chili, of all types.  Stories were told in voice, about different types of chili, the affects of chili (with comments in text chat that the avatars were grateful that smell was not one of the senses supported in virtual worlds), and a bit about the history of chili and it’s role in popular culture.

(Top left picture:  Guests hearing the chili stories.  Top right picture:  Seanchai founder Derry McMahon and Bear Silvershade telling a few chili stories.  Bottom picture, current Seanchai head. Calendonia Skytower standing next to the Chili Recipe box as she tells yet another chili story.)

Guests had the opportunity to take a box of notecards filled with over 60 different chili recipes.

Seanchai Library Box of Chile Recipes_001 

Biblio Latte and her box of chili recipes.

Example of one of the chili recipes:

Maine–White Lobster Chili

While this is by no means a traditional chili, the flavorings and the heartiness of this soup are reminiscent of the traditional dish. This preparation of lobster can take the higher level of seasoning of the chili powder because the beans are cooked in the lobster stock so the dish has a strong lobster flavor. Instead of the. usual cheese, though, this is great topped with creme fraiche. and fresh chives.

Probably the tantalizing and delicate flavor of lobster meat is found at its best in a fresh boiled “chicken” lobster, weighing one to one and a quarter pounds. A lobster of this size is estimated to be four or five. years old. And the tail meat will be tough if you boil it longer than from eight to ten minutes.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small “chicken” lobsters
  • 1 onion
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups great northern beans
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground toasted cumin
  • 112 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt
  • cracked pepper


  1. Dice half the onion, celery and carrot into large pieces, place in a 6 quart or larger saucepan or stock pot \.Vith the bay leaf, peppercorns and 3 quarts of \.vater and bring to a boil.
  2. Put lobster into pot and boil for 15 minutes, remove the lobsters, strain the broth and set aside.
  3. Fine dice remaining onion, celery and carrot.
  4. Heat the pan and olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion, celery and carrot until translucent, add garlic and saute a bit more. 5.Add \.Vater, chili powder, cumin and white beans and cook until beans are done, about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove lobster from shell, rough chop and add to soup.
  6. Finish with cream and cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

Following the chili cook-off and recipe exhange, the group enjoyed dancing to tunes spun by inworld DJ Dano Bookmite.

In addition to story telling and other ‘live’ events, since 2011, Seanchai also  has also offered visitors and guests the opportunity to make voluntary donations to a variety of charities that change bi-monthly.  Seanchai does not officially represent any of these charities.  Charities range from Reach Out and Read to Habitat for Humanity.  Donations average a little of $100/month. According to Seanchai Quick Facts: “Between January 2011 and January 2015, Seanchai Library made charitable donations totally $2,853 to 16 non-profit organizations around the world, doing good work in a variety of areas including environmental heath, housing, education, peace, social justice, and wildlife preservation.”

Have you ever participated in a virtual world?  Is so, which one(s)?  Join in the conversation and tell us what role you think that Seanchai and other virtual libraries do fill and or could fill.


2 thoughts on “Seanchai Library Turns IX”

  1. SeanChai Library is definitely one of the gems of Second Life. It’s been a popular venue with a loyal following for years. There’s something deeply satisfying about hearing someone else read aloud, an emotional reaction that harks back to earliest childhood for those of us fortunate enough to have had parent who read aloud. What’s surprising is the additional bump that you can feel when you hear a disembodied reader, as opposed to an actor on a stage. I remember Doug Brown, who did inspired readings on WOI radio in Iowa for almost 20 years. Iowa State faculty and students routinely dropped what they were doing for 1/2 hour every weekday morning to hear the daily installment, yet very few could tell you what Doug looked like. Readings at Seanchai, where you are already removed visually from a real world setting, can produce the same effect. You’re in a private world, hearing a story read for you alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the eloquent comment. Seanchai is a wonderful addition to CVL. I don’t know how they are able to keep up such diversity in voice–it requires a real time commitment, every day to make that happen. I’d be too afraid of messing up on the mike to want to add that stress, never mine performance stress.


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